New Delhi: Juliane Schenk of Germany shocked world number three and top seed Shixian Wang of China to reach the women's singles semifinals of the India Open Super Series badminton tournament, here on Friday. The world number eight Juliane came from behind to notch up a thrilling 6-21 21-10 21-16 victory at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.
Moments after winning the marathon one-hour battle, Juliane urged shuttlers from other countries to challenge the Chinese and break their stranglehold. "I want many different countries to challenge the Chinese and it would be good for the sport, otherwise it is getting one sided," she said after the match.
Juliane is an integral part of the group, including India's Saina Nehwal and Denmark's Tine Baun, who will look the thwart China's challenge and win a medal in the London Olympics. "It is difficult to beat them. You have to break the rhythm. Every one tries to do well in Olympics and I hope we all do well and challenge them," Juliane said.
Asked about her match, the German said, "It was an amazing victory. The beginning was not that great. She had full control, I was struggling with my speed but I could change and found my rhythm and I stayed calm and finally it was even. I enjoyed the victory."
"We have been playing quite often this year as it is the Olympic qualification year. It's always a big challenge to play against her and I enjoyed this victory today, of course the Olympics is the focus now and it was a good match," she added.
Juliane also acknowledged the crowd support who were rooting for her and world number five Peter Gade of Denmark, who was playing on the adjacent court.
"There are many young spectators today and they were cheering for me. They were also cheering for Peter and it is full of joy and it gives you extra spirit. It is the second time for me in India and I had good memories last time in Hyderabad during the world championship."
While Juliane broke into celebration, it was all over for second seed Peter after he went down fighting to Wan Ho Shon of Korea 22-24 18-21 in a 53-minute men's singles match.
"I played my best game today. Normally I would have finished it off. But in the end, I lacked 10 to 15 per cent in my game," he said.
"I know I cannot play the way I used to play 20 years back. Right now, it tough as I have be careful with my ankle. But still I fought back," he added.